U.S. Department of Defense


Date of this Version



Proceedings of the Combustion Institute 35, 2015


U.S Government work


Laser-induced breakdown is used for quantitative gas property measurements (gas density and ethylene fuel concentration) in a cavity flameholder in a supersonic crossflow. A plasma is produced by a focused laser beam (Nd:YAG, 532 nm) in the cavity to measure gas properties at the location of the plasma and to ignite cavity flames. Plasma energy (PE), defined by the laser pulse energy absorbed/scattered in the plasma, and plasma emission spectra are recorded for estimating gas density and species concentration, respectively. To obtain correlations of PE vs. gas density and emission spectra vs. fuel concentration, calibration experiments are conducted using a variable-pressure (0–900 mbar)/temperature (300–900 K) chamber and a Hencken burner installed in a variable-pressure (50–900 mbar) combustion chamber. Total measurement time is sufficiently short, ~80 ns after laser arrival at the plasma region, to capture the high intensity portion of the emission and to minimize effects of plasma displacement (in the high-speed flow). Specifically, the laser pulse energy incident and transmitted (through the plasma) are measured, and the plasma emission spectra are captured during a 50-ns gate, after an approximate 30-ns time delay (relative to onset of emission from the plasma volume) to avoid strong background emission from the plasma.